Police chiefs across Canada call for decriminalization of illicit drugs for personal use

published on July 9, 2020 by Jennifer Saltman in The Province

Police chiefs from across Canada are calling for the possession of illicit drugs for personal use to be decriminalized, and for a national task force to research drug policy reform.

Decriminalization is something health experts and advocates have been pushing authorities to move on for years, and they say the police action is welcome, but long overdue.

“I think it’s a very sensible, progressive move, and I’m very supportive of it,” said Dr. Perry Kendall, interim executive co-director of the B.C. Centre on Substance Use and a past provincial health officer. “We’ve known for many years that the current approach to classifying some drugs as legal and some as illegal doesn’t have any logical basis behind it.”

Vancouver Police Chief Adam Palmer, who is president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, said that more than five years into the opioid crisis, the organization is officially recognizing that substance use and addiction is a public health issue…

View the full article